Click on these shots for the larger scene.
These old photos were taken by the British surveyors during the establishment of the International Boundary at the 49th parallel of latitude in July of 1861, hence the Union Jack seen fluttering in the long exposure. I shot the repeat digitals in July of 2007.
The cairn is a preliminary determination by the Brits. The American team arrived some time later and using similar methods, determined the spot to be 36 feet north of the British cairn. According to treaty, the difference was split and the final large cairn was constructed 18 feet north.
Today's climbers marvel at the effort and care it must have taken to transport an enormous camera w/ wet plates, tent, chemicals, up the knife edge between Wall and Forum Lakes, approaching Class III terrain at times, to reach this remote spot and then return via the same route.
The American's didn't have a camera, so they sent an artist instead - James Madison Alden. I'll post some of his watercolors soon.
This is the official stone cairn which stood for 40 years. Here it is being examined by a rodsman just prior to demolition to determine the exact center point.
Two 19th century boundary survey expeditions ended at this station. The Interprovincial Boundary expedition started at this spot while marking the boundary between Alberta & B.C. during the early 20th century.